For the last 35 years, Planet has been working with its customers to help tourists shop Tax Free in numerous territories worldwide, merchants to increase sales and develop new revenue streams; and acquirers, including banks and other financial institutions, streamline settlement.
Following a series of key international acquisitions, the business has fully earned the right to the ‘Planet’ name. It has a global team of more than 1,500 people in 70 countries, and a market-leading product and service portfolio.
As a result, the company is widely recognised as a world leader and the go-to payments provider in a highly competitive marketplace. Its partners include impressive global brands, such as Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Marriott and Hilton. It remains committed to further expansion, having made two major acquisitions in 2019 and 2020, and this growth strategy will be accelerated by the recent announcement of new investment by Advent International, who has agreed to co-ownership with Eurazeo.
The need to take control.
Such growth doesn’t come without its challenges. According to Janice Donaghue, VP People Operations, “We were a fast-growing business, but with little structure in our systems to support sustainable growth.”
This lack of centralised control meant there was little visibility of who or where the company’s people were, their roles, what they were paid or which customers they worked with. This was before the two most recent acquisitions, which both brought an influx of new employees. And it predated the disruption caused by COVID-19, with furlough schemes and remote working across many markets.
The ability to drill down to access and view data with Workday has been a big game changer for us.
VP People Operations
Recognising the urgent need for change, Planet held a competitive tender to identify HR and financial management solutions to provide accurate, real-time information from all its operations. Workday was appointed to provide a single, centralised system that could also meet any additional needs as they emerged. It went live just as the first acquisition went through. “It was a pretty challenging moment”, says Janice Donaghue.
Ongoing change and improvement.
Planet selected Workday with future growth in mind. As Janice Donaghue says, “It has the potential to grow, and we can grow with it.” But immediate benefits also became apparent following the initial global roll-out of the HR solution, including instant access to real-time information.
Members of the executive leadership team, for example, could easily call up dashboards showing key people data – something that was entirely new to them. And employees across the organisation were quickly able to become more self-sufficient, finding information for themselves with no need to wait for others to provide it. Both of these advances were particularly valuable during the periods immediately following the two acquisitions, as the company embedded its new people and locations.
The HR and Finance teams, too, have forged a more collaborative relationship. In one major initiative, the teams have worked more closely than ever before to create a new cost-centre structure, including joint testing, and a combined approach to developing shared solutions.
Since going live with the Financial Management module, the Finance team has really noticed the value of working collaboratively.
VP People Operations
Part of a global community.
The Planet team is an active user of the 150,000+ member Workday Community – a source of information and resources from peers, partners and experts, which also gives users a voice for feedback and new ideas. According to HRIS Manager Fiona Gurr, “We’ve taken so much from there. I can see another company doing something and realise that we can do it too. I don’t have to do a lot of research: it just gives us everything we can think of.”
In one example of the kind of practical support that’s available, Fiona recently spoke to another member about their experience of implementing Workday Discovery Boards. “It really helps to be able to learn from others”, she says.
We’ve benefited immensely from the Workday Community: the coffee mornings and other things it offers really make my job so much easier.
Coping with COVID-19.
Although the challenge of integrating new people without any face-to-face contact was significant, Janice Donaghue believes that improved internal communications via Workday have actually streamlined the process.
And Fiona is also certain that keeping track of furlough arrangements across multiple countries has been made far easier by using Workday. “We set up a leave plan to show where people were out of the business and where they were working reduced hours. Before, we’d have been scrambling about on spreadsheets – and still probably missing people!”
With Workday, we have accurate, up-to-date data on where and how people are working and what we are paying them. It’s made it all so much easier.